Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me. I'm taking wild liberties with them.

Male/male smut. For everyone who asked for a sequel to 'Last Night'.

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Only Human

By Alexis C.

"We are going to freeze to death here," the young cook groused.

Zoro glowered but did not reply. Yeah, it was his fault they were stuck here but the stupid cook didn't HAVE to keep harping on it. It wasn't as if he'd gotten them stranded here on purpose. He could have sworn the ship was around here somewhere. Luffy and the rest must have moved it for some reason.

He heard a metallic chink from behind him, as Sanji once again attempted to light his cigarette and then the inevitable long-suffering sigh.

It wasn't Zoro's fault that the dumb cook had gotten himself knocked out when some wild beast had pounced out from nowhere and swatted him head-long into a tree trunk. Hey, he had been kind enough to finish off the feral looking creature before it had decided to make a meal out of Sanji. After that, he'd simply turned around and dragged Sanji's ass back in the more or less single direction that they'd come from.

It was more rather than less, come to think of it, but how was he supposed to know the island changed its landscape daily and Luffy had happily sailed the Going Merry somewhere else?

"Tch. It's your fault for being so weak."

Sanji bristled visibly. If he were a cat, Zoro imagined he would see a tabby yowling and spitting in anger. The thought of having Sanji pass out so easily on him was a little disturbing if Zoro could only stop secretly gloating over the fact long enough to ponder the implications.

"It's your fault for getting lost!"

"I told you, we're not lost. The landscape of this island changes!"

"You are such a typical male. Women like their men to admit to mistakes. Just say it, you got lost!"

Zoro snorted derisively. He was a typical male? And Sanji was not?

"Right, if I'm the alpha male then you're the helpless damsel in distress who passes out in her saviour's arms."

There was a moment of absolute quiet, punctuated only by the distant howling of the frigid wind outside of the little cave they were in, as the statement sunk in.

Then a stinging pain as Sanji's lighter bounced off his head. Zoro whipped around and brought his swords up just in time to deflect a most likely rib-crushing kick aimed at his side. Sanji's face was flushed with fury and perhaps, just perhaps, he'd gone a little too far with that statement. Sanjihad gotten pretty knocked up in their last epic battle saving Nami and Usopp. The cook was so impressively skilled at fighting that Zoro sometimes forgot that he was just another human being.

He'd be damned if he was going to apologise though.

"I will take your head off if you ever say anything that again," Sanji growled through clenched teeth, lowering his foot.

"Hnn. Whatever," Zoro muttered. That was as much of a concession as he was ever going to make.

He threw himself down on the hard floor of the cave he had found while hauling Sanji around. The weather had changed all of a sudden when he'd been wandering and before he had known it, it was snowing. Snowing, and it had been bright and sunny only moments ago. Damn the Grand Line and its unpredictable climate. It was only through pure chance that he had stumbled (or rather fell) into the cave. It was tiny and way too cold, but at least it kept out most of the wind.

It didn't stop him from shivering though, or wishing he had a nice thick coat to snuggle in.

Behind him, he heard Sanji cursing the cold as he settled down on the damp hard floor as well. For a moment, they were silent, each caught up in their own thoughts. There was a curious faint clacking noise that was registering at threshold of Zoro's hearing. It took him a while to realise that it wasn't his imagination after all and it was actually Sanji's teeth chattering together. Surreptitiously, he shifted closer, the sound of fabric shifting suspiciously loud in the tiny enclosed space. He heard the sound echoed as Sanji began shifting about as well.

"... I hope Nami and Robin are okay," Sanji said suddenly, his low voice drawing Zoro out of the waters of sleep like a line tugging a fish in.

"I'd never forgive myself if they froze to death somewhere on this pathetic little excuse for an island," Sanji continued.

Trust the man to be thinking of the welfare of the ladies when he was in danger of freezing himself.

"... They'll be fine," Zoro muttered reticently. "Luffy, Usopp and Chopper are with them. Chopper will make them bundle up." He was, in fact, secretly worried about Luffy himself.

What if their adventurous young captain had gone off exploring by himself while the two of them were out scrounging for food and gotten lost himself? Luffy had been at the ship just after having returned from an exploration of the island when they had left. He had been disappointed by how seemingly ordinary the island had seemed, but who was to say Luffy wouldn't get it in his terribly unpredictable mind to head out in the hope of discovering something new again?

Luffy could take care of himself, Zoro knew, but he couldn't help but worry anyway, even if he crossed his arms impassively and watched Luffy's many battles without batting an eyelid.

The clacking noise was getting louder. In spite of himself, Zoro found himself gravitating towards the one source of warmth in the darkness of the frosty cave.

Apparently, Sanji did too, because as he shifted closer again, he felt the warmth of another's back against his own, even as both men tensed at the contact.

"... C-cold, Zoro?" Sanji was the one who shattered the icy awkward stillness of the moment, his tone mocking.

"... Stop smirking, you idiot. I can hear your teeth chattering," Zoro snapped. He strained backwards, pushing against Sanji's back, daring the other man to turn away from his warmth.

As expected, Sanji pushed right back. Well, that suited Zoro just fine. The jostling that ensued took their minds off uncomfortable topics and unexplored territory since their last encounter in the dark of the night when Nami had gotten hurt.

They lay side by side in the quiet dark for an instant, as the pushing died down, unwilling to pull away from each other, but unwilling to get any closer either. Not for the first time since they had arrived here, Zoro found himself wishing that he had Sanji's black tailored jacket to keep him warm.

It was then that he noticed that Sanji was shaking rather violently against him.

Well, shit.

He wasn't about to sit through the silent or verbal accusations the rest of the crew were sure to throw his way if he let their precious cook freeze.

He turned and slung an arm round Sanji's waist, drawing him close, so that other man was pressed flush against his chest.

"W-What are you doing?!"

Sanji was straining against his grip in an instant, squirming and scrabbling about to throw him off.

"Let go, or I'll break your kneecaps," Zoro heard Sanji hiss in his ear angrily.

And he would do it to in a heartbeat without feeling in the least bit sorry. Zoro was willing to bet on it.

"Want to see your two precious ladies again? Then keep still and let me keep you warm before you freeze to death, you dumb ass," Zoro growled back.

Sanji paused in mid-struggle, his eyes blinking rapidly, looking unconvinced. Zoro dragged him back in his arms again, unwilling to lose the warmth once he'd found it. Sanji was all hard angles and sinewy bone. His wiry body was tough, tense, resisting and had none of the softness of a woman's body but it radiated warmth and Zoro wanted nothing more than that right now.

"Are you cold?" Came the sullen question.

"What?" Zoro retorted, none too friendly, unwilling to admit his weakness.

Sanji began to struggle out of Zoro's grip again. Zoro gritted his teeth and squashed male pride down firmly.

"I'm cold."

I'm cold too, so just stop moving, stop struggling and when the blizzard blows over we'll remember nothing of this so just...

Sanji let his muscles go lax within Zoro's embrace.

His arms came up around Zoro's neck, and he pressed himself against Zoro fiercely, greedily, his change of attitude startling Zoro into momentary speechlessness.

"I'm cold too," Sanji breathed into his ear. "So just hold me now and remember that if you breathe a single word of this to anyone, and I mean anyone at all, I'll break a lot more than just those kneecaps."

"Just a little sensitive, aren't we?" Zoro spat out, resentfully. It wasn't as if he was just raring and raving to go to announce to the entire world that he was hugging Sanji in a cold and dark little cave.

The embarrassment would kill him.

He brought his hand under Sanji's knee and jerked it upwards, yanking Sanji's leg across his waist suddenly and rolling Sanji onto his back, just so they were quite literally straining against each other.

A tiny little gasp escaped Sanji's lips and his eyes went wide with shock before narrowing into a hard line once again.

"W-What are you playing at?" Sanji snapped, all anger and spit-fire again. "I'm not some woman you can just roll over on her back and fuck." Only the slightest trembling of the taut line of his body gave Zoro any indication that he was at all fazed.

He wasn't pushing Zoro away. Zoro bent his head down, and gently touched his lips to Sanji's. They were not kissing. Just barely holding back.

He could feel Sanji's pulse quicken against the one palm he had placed flat against Sanji's chest, holding him down. His breath skirted over the edge of Sanji's lips as he spoke.

"Why did you kiss me that night?"

Sanji turned his face away, eyes fallen shut.

"I thought we agreed not to talk about this," he muttered, his voice low and reluctant and his throat. His arms were still tightly wound around Zoro's neck.

"You decided. I didn't." Zoro brought his head down to Sanji's skin, blowing down softly on it as he began to kiss and lick a trail to Sanji's jaw.

"Z-Zoro." Sanji's teeth weren't chattering, it was his voice that was trembling now. Zoro paused and drew back slightly to regard him.Sanji's face was flushed, but Zoro had no inkling if it was with embarrassment, anger, need or a mix of all three. His expression certainly was a warring conflict between the emotions.

"Zoro," Sanji said again, and this time, his voice was steady despite the erratic beat of his heart that Zoro could feel through the surface of his palm pressed against the blue starched fabric of Sanji's shirt.

Sanji opened his eyes. They were cold, an intense, electrifying blue that Zoro could imagine himself drowning in forever and ever. The mesh of warring emotions had simply melted off his face in an instant, to be replaced by a simple frown of annoyance.

"... If you'd wanted to kiss me, you could have just asked," Sanji snapped irritably as he jerked Zoro forward, and their teeths clacked together as their mouths meshed together, but Zoro didn't care, he was tasting those lips again, teasing and exploring Sanji's mouth with his tongue like he hadn't before, the taste of cigarettes sharp in his nostrils and he really didn't care anymore if they just froze to death like that, because he was kissing Sanji, the only man besides Mihawk who he had ever felt a true rivalry with, the person he had spent weeks dreaming about after their first kiss and... and...

And Zoro didn't ever want to stop, so it was Sanji who drew back first and buried his face into the crook of Zoro's neck and they lay like that for a little while, breathing heavily and saying nothing to each other because maybe nothing needed to be said anyway, and it was just implicit in the hungry kiss that none of this would have happened once they were back on the ship and they would just go back to hating each other the way they always had.

"Sanji."

Sanji shifted against Zoro, but made no reply.

"... Share the jacket." The semi-request was made in a grudging, reluctant voice.

"... Like hell I will."

The End.